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Hassan II Mosque

Sacred Buildings : Modern Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco

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Designed by architect Michel Pinseau, Hassan II Mosque is the largest religious monument in the world after Mecca.
World's Tallest Minaret

Hassan II Mosque

Photo: ArtToday.com
Hassan II Mosque was built between 1986 and 1993 for the 60th birthday of former Moroccan king Hassan II. The Hassan II Mosque has space for 25,000 worshippers inside and another 80,000 outside. The 210-meter minaret is the tallest in the world and is visible day and night for miles around.

Although Hassan II Mosque was designed by a French architect, it is Moroccan through and through. Expept for the white granite columns and the glass chandeliers, the materials used to construct the mosque were taken from the Morocco region.

6,000 traditional Moroccan artisans worked for five years to turn these raw materials into mosaics, stone and marble floors and columns, sculpted plaster moldings, and carved and painted wood ceilings.

The mosque also includes a number of modern touches: it was built to withstand earthquakes and has a heated floor, electric doors, a sliding roof, and lasers which shine at night from the top of the minaret toward Mecca.

Many Casablancans have mixed feelings about Hassan II Mosque. On one hand, they are proud that this beautiful monument dominates their city. On the other, they are aware that the expense (estimates range from $500 to 800 million) could have been put to other uses. To build the mosque, it was necessary to destroy a large, impovershed section of Casablanca. The residents did not receive any compensation.

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